CHANDIGARH, April 16: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today welcomed the central government’s decision to provide Rs 50 per quintal bonus on wheat to the farmers over Rs 1120 minimum support price. At the same time he lashed out at the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for “rejecting” the bonus saying this only reflected his negative mindset and failure to appreciate anything good done by the centre.
In a statement issued here today Capt Amarinder asked Mr Badal if he felt Rs 50 provided by the centre was too less and if he was really a well wisher of the farmers as he claims to be, his government should also provide at least this much of bonus to the farmers of the state. “Let him announce a similar bonus of Rs 50 per quintal on wheat which he always can”, PCC President observed.Lashing out at Mr Badal for his myopic vision which prevents him from seeing anything good done by the Congress led UPA government at the centre, Capt Amarinder asked him to compare the MSP on wheat and paddy provided by the UPA government with that given by the NDA government of which the Akali Dal was a constituent partner.
Giving comparative figures about increase in MSP of wheat and paddy during NDA and UPA regimes, the PCC President pointed out, during six years of its rule, the NDA increased the prices of wheat from Rs 550 to Rs 630 per quintal a mere increase of Rs 80 in six years, while the UPA has increased it from Rs 630 Rs 1170 (1120+50), an increase of Rs 540 during the same period of period of time. Similarly, Capt Amarinder added, the total increase in the MSP of paddy during NDA regime was Rs 110, while during the same period of time the UPA increased it by Rs 420.
The former Chief Minister said, while the Badal led government in the state had failed at all fronts, the agriculture was the worst casualty with a progressive decline in the agricultural growth rate during last three years. He said, during this time the agricultural growth rate has come down from 3.89 per cent in 2007-08 to 2.40 per cent in 2008-09 and 1.06 in 2009-10, which itself speaks volumes about the poor performance of this government on the agricultural front.